Dear Students and Parents,

Strong research suggests that a lifelong love of a subject is often born in Key Stage 3 (KS3). KS3 comprises years 7,8 & 9 and are the years that students transition from the primary setting into option decisions for their GCSEs. The characteristics of eagerness, inquiry and energy is very present when children come close to their teenage years. Add transitioning from a different learning environment to the next, and you start to see how important KS3 is; it truly starts to be recognised as the ‘formative’.

 What you can expect from El Alsson at Key Stage 3:

  • A holistic educational experience encompassing the academic and extra-curricular;
  • A rigorous and robust approach to Teaching and Learning;
  • A focus on student progress through data-driven decision making;
  • High expectations regarding Behaviour for Learning (BfL) and Readiness for Learning (RfL);
  • Supportive teachers who put students and their learning at the forefront.

What parents can do to help their child at Key Stage 3:

  • Support the decision making of teaching staff and senior staff at the school;
  • Enquire about the student day, focusing on their positive learning experiences;
  • Monitor their emotional development and status;
  • Support your child and school with high expectations of behavior and attainment;
  • Support your child on the use of technologies such as Showmyhomework;
  • Engage in the ‘3 way relationship’: Parent – Student – Teacher.

We hope that the Student and Parent/Guardian Handbook proves useful to you over the coming academic year.

The Handbook:

  • Is a working document that is continually improved based on feedback, innovation, student and parent experience and developments in the school
  • Has been written to help answer any routine questions that students and parents/guardians may have about KS3.
  • Is an essential document and it contains information about the school day, policies, our expectations and other useful information.
  • Should be referred to regularly throughout the year to remind yourself of school procedures.

Finally, may we wish you all a very successful year at El Alsson.

Mr. Philip Thomas – Head of KS3 (Years 7-9)


In Key Stage 3, students study the following subjects English, Mathematics, Science, French, Geography, History, Computing, Art, Crafts and Design, Music, Drama and Physical Education. Egyptian students study Arabic, Religion and National Social Studies, in preparation for the Ibtediya and Adadiya examinations. Arabic as a Second Language courses are studied by non-Arabic speaking students.

Assessment and Reporting

Each subject is assessed using the Levels 1-9. Level 9 is the highest grade and level 1 is the lowest level. Students attainment is very individual. Staff are able to make judgements on student attainment and predictions through a range of Teaching and Learning practice, diagnostics and assessments. Students should be attaining the following levels.

  • Year 7: Levels 1 to Level 4.5
  • Year 8: Levels 4 to Level 7
  • Year 9: Levels 6 to Level 9

Teachers use a range of assessment types throughout the year to measure and assess students’ progress. Parents/Guardians are formal informed of their child’s progress on three times a year. Parents/Guardians will receive ‘short reports’, which contain Levels and information about attainment and Behaviour for Learning (BfL) & Readiness for Learning (RfL), and a ‘long reports’ providing more details written information. There are two Parent Teacher Conferences (Parents’ Evenings) during the year to support parent and student understanding and progress.

Students are assessed in Cognitive Ability Test (CAT) with GL Assessments in Year 7 and Year 9. A CAT4 will assess 4 areas of ability and provide the teaching staff and senior leadership powerful data to make decisions about the students current ability and predictive ability. Teaching staff will utilise this data with other assessment data through the year to inform decision making.

Progression and Options Procedure

In Year 9, parents/guardians and students will be provided with counseling to enable the most appropriate GCSE courses choices. These choices are important as they inform A-level courses and the students entry into university. The school has minimum requirements for progression from KS3 to KS4. Therefore, teaching staff will use CAT4 assessments to inform more data-driven decision making for students’ IGCSE and GCSE options process in the Spring.

General information

KS3 Parent Handbook